The Royal Melbourne Hospital has been caring for Victorians for 160 years and to launch year-long celebrations of this significant milestone, it today held the official reopening of the Merlyn Myer Historical Room in its new location in the RMH Function Centre.
The date coincides with the laying of the foundation stone in 1846 for the original Melbourne Hospital in Lonsdale Street. Victoria’s first hospital opened its doors on 15 March 1848 and is one of the oldest
public institutions in Victoria, predating the Victorian Parliament, the University of Melbourne and the
Special guests were Dame Merlyn Myer’s daughter Lady Southey, granddaughter Sally Lindsay and Christine Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the
Dr Ian Martin, Chair of the RMH Heritage Advisory Committee, spoke on the background of the Historical Room and its significance in recording and celebrating the events and people in the life of the hospital.
Also attending the event were former presidents of the Board of Management, Dame Margaret Guilfoyle and
Dr Tom Hurley; former General Manager Dr David Campbell; and Mr Clive Luckman, President of the Genealogical Society of Victoria.
Melbourne Health Chief Executive Linda Sorrell particularly thanked RMH Archivist Gabriele Haveaux and Medical Illustration’s Arthur Wigley for their work in recreating the historical room and preserving the hospital's heritage.
The original Historical Room was opened on 13 May 1980, following a $25,000 donation by Dame Merlyn Myer in 1978. On 21 June 2001, the room was formally renamed the Merlyn Myer Historical Room in honour of its original benefactor.
MH Chief Executive Linda Sorrell presented
a delighted Lady Southey with a framed
photo of her sister Mrs Neilma Gantner,
brother Mr Baillieu Myer and herself in the
Historical Room shortly after works were completed.
Period interior designer Suzanne Forge,
RMH archivist Gabriele Haveaux, Myer
Foundation CEO Christine Edwards and
longtime archives committee member